Heather was raised in Middleton-on-the-Wolds, nr Driffield, East Yorkshire. Both her parents, Les and Elsie, played the accordion, so it was little wonder that she shared her pram with a small accordion. For her ninth birthday, her parents bought her a ‘proper’ accordion albeit a rather old model, and took her to Barnsley for monthly lessons with Mr Horace Crossland. She progressed rapidly and after only two lessons was in need of a better instrument, and on Mr Crossland’s advice, they purchased a 75 bass red Busilacchio accordion, which Heather adored. A few months later she passed the Elementary grade examination of The British Association of Accordionists with Honours and was entered for the Under 10yrs British Championship of the BAA gaining 1st Place and was also awarded 3rd Place in the Under 12yrs.

Over the next eight years, she passed all the BAA Examinations with Honours and won all the age groups, silver medal and Open British Championships. Heather represented Britain in the Junior World Championships in Hamburg and was awarded 2nd Place.

Heather started teaching the accordion after she gained the BAA Diploma at 15 years of age.

In her 20s, Heather decided to augment her musical skills when she was introduced to Theatre and Electronic Organs. After some tuition and practice, she was offered the job as resident organist in a large local club, playing for dancing and backing cabaret artists. Heather worked in several local clubs until 2007, when she decided to devote all her time to her first love, the accordion.

In the early 1990s, Heather attended accordion festivals which were organised by the late Malcolm Gee, and also festivals at Blackpool which were organised by Tom Duncan. Tom ‘spotted’ Heather and soon involved her in the running of these events. After several years helping Tom, her first ‘solo’ festival was in 2001 at Pakefield. Since then, she has organised an accordion festival on the East Coast of Norfolk/Suffolk each year until 2014, when she presented the last one at Mundesley. Since then, Heather now presents two annual festivals at the newly refurbished Seacroft Holiday Village. the first one was in April 2017, the second one will be September 2017. 


Heather Smith plays solo,  and also in the Rhythm Section of the East Coast Swing Band playing the keyboard parts on her SEM digital accordion.


Her repertoire consists of many original compositions especially written for the accordion, arrangements of popular light music, French and Italian compositions as well as popular standards. As well as playing for concerts, she also plays music for mixed ballroom dancing, both modern and old time.


Sixteen piece big band started as a rehearsal band many years ago.  It's developed over the last few years and has now achieved a good standard of playing. Their repertoire consists of standard big band arrangements from the 1940s onwards, and they have also added several excellent Latin American and modern musical arrangements.

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